25 House members back marijuana banking act
More than one-quarter of U.S. House members have signed on to newly introduced legislation to facilitate greater access to banking for state-licensed cannabis operators.
The 2019 version of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was introduced last Thursday and now has 113 co-sponsors — the most ever for a marijuana law reform bill.
Under federal law, banks and other financial institutions are discouraged from entering into relationships with marijuana-specific businesses. This has led to the industry operating on a largely ‘cash-only’ basis.
Last month, members of the U.S. House, Consumer Protection and Financial Institution Subcommittee heard testimony in favor of federal banking reform. NORML submitted testimony to the Committee, opining: “In short, no industry can operate safely, transparently, or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and it is self-evident that this industry, and those consumers that are served by it, will remain severely hampered without better access to credit and financing. Ultimately, Congress must amend federal policy so that these growing numbers of state-compliant businesses, and those millions of Americans who patronize them, are no longer subject to policies that needlessly place them in harm’s way.”
The SAFE Banking Act is one of several marijuana-related bills introduced in Congress in recent days. Other legislation includes The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019, The Marijuana Justice Act, The Next Step Act, and The Marijuana Data Collection Act of 2019.
Cannabinoids associated with anti-cancer activity
STOKE-ON-KENT, U.K. — The administration of cannabidiol (CBD) is associated with anti-cancer responses in human subjects, according to a pair of recently published case studies.
In the first study, British investigators reported on the use of CBD in an 81-year-old lung cancer patient following his decision to decline chemotherapy treatment. Authors reported that the patients’ tumor size was reduced following the use of CBD extracts.
They concluded: “[T]he data presented here indicate that CBD may have had a role in the striking response in a patient with histologically proven adenocarcinoma of the lung as a result of self-administration of CBD oil for a month and in the absence of any other identifiable lifestyle, drug or dietary changes. Further work is needed both in vitro and in vivo to better evaluate the various mechanisms of action of CBD on malignant cells, and its potential application in the treatment of not only lung cancer but also other malignancies.”
In the second study, Brazilian investigators described the use of CBD in two 38-year-old patients with brain cancer. Their use of CBD in additional to traditional anti-cancer treatment was associated with a “significant improvement” in clinical outcomes and a lack of disease progression for two years. Authors concluded, “These observations are of particular interest because the pharmacology of cannabinoids appears to be distinct from existing oncology medications and may offer a unique and possibly synergistic option for future glioma treatment.”
A 2017 study assessing the concurrent use of CBD and Temozolomide (TMZ) in 21 patients with glioma reported that subjects provided CBD lived, on average, 45 percent longer than those treated with TMZ only.
Although cannabinoids have well-established anti-cancer activity in preclinical models, scientists have generally failed to assess these properties in controlled, clinical trials.
S. Dakota guv vetoes hemp licensing bill
The measure sought to permit state regulators to license farmers to commercially cultivate industrial hemp and sought to regulate certain products derived from hemp, including CBD-infused extracts. In December, Congress enacted legislation descheduling hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids from the federal Controlled Substances Act and making states the primary regulators of the plant.
Gov. Noem stated in her veto: “Our state is not yet ready for industrial hemp. … [T]his bill supports a national effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use.”
Members of the House voted to successfully override the governor’s veto, but Senators failed to obtain the two-thirds majority necessary.